10 April 2008

Facebook: what is it good for?

Matt Maroon posted a nice piece on Facebook and why it's crap. I was moved to write a comment which morphed into a full-blown blog post. So I've shamelessly copied it here. Partly to compensate for a lack of posting lately, and party because, well.. I was moved.

A year ago when Facebook launched their SDK I was excited that they were turning it into a platform. And then the junk apps started to fly like so many winged monkeys.
So what if they create a search, stock-market simulators, movie listings, games, photo-sharing aps, etc. until the cows come home? At some point all they've done is create a smaller, crappier version of the www. So why bother? So everyone I've ever kinda sorta met can tell how much time I waste?
It burns me just a little more every time I log in to FB to check all the useless spam that my 100 friends have generated and there's one more jackass selling me some pepsi or real estate tips or concert tickets I don't want because he's ripped my info off of someone's app. Or essentially cold calling me because I'm a "friend" of a "friend".
Great innovations are things that solve problems. Google solved the problem of how to find info. Facebook creates at least as many problems as it will ever solve. There will be a tipping point of spaminess where just enough people will say "fuck this" and Facebook will just disintegrate like wet toilet paper. Let's just hope the next friendster/myspace/beebo/orkut will be... well what? more of the same? A talking phone book? An implanted chip that vibrates every time someone whose name I know changes their socks? Do we really need to all belong to one big social network? Maybe the future will be more about services that actually solve problems. When the novelty honeymoon of everyone being online (not just your other 2 geek friends) wears off, everyone will come back to the basic question: what do I need this for?


  1. Whatever replaces Facebook needs to be a more open platform like email. Really if everyone had a blog it would be a lot easier. You could just subscribe to your friends feeds and comment whenever.

  2. Exactly. A more open platform like email. Everyone already has email, so facebook is just an address book with pictures in that regard.
    One of my chief frustrations with Facebook is that it is anti-open. Instead of integrating with the rest of the www facebook seems to be trying to wall themselves off as much as possible. Rather than tools of integration they are trying to keep everyone inside.


Recent eratics:

There's a lot of gold here and it's updated often.
Come back soon or subscribe